Sometime back in August, I started reading the book, The Artist’s Way, which introduces the topic of morning pages. It’s fairly simple, but the practice has truly shifted my behavior and my thoughts.
At the core, the morning pages are 3 full pages of hand written pages that you do every morning after waking up. You do this every day, no breaks. It’s 3 full pages, no less.
That’s it. I told you it was simple.
If you are a journaler, you may be thinking something like isn’t that just journaling?
Well yes, and no.
The practice of the morning pages are specific in that they’re immediately after waking up, done daily for 12 weeks, entirely hand written, and they are intended to be paired with your reading of the book. While it is journaling, it’s more about tapping into the artist inside of you than just a few words or sentences for the day.
So how have the morning pages shifted my thoughts and behavior?
#1 – I actually got up to do these and looked forward to it almost every morning. I decided to Sabbath on these on Sundays and only do them 6 days a week but actually found myself enjoying them so much I did them on various Sundays throughout the weeks.
#2 – They gave me so many new ideas. While I’m just free writing my own thoughts, I started coming up with all these new questions and things I can learn about or look into or pursue or write or make. The ideas were non stop.
#3 – It helped me develop even further self awareness. I thought about what I was thinking about on a whole new level. While I try to reflect daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and every year, writing out my thoughts in long form really had me analyzing what I was thinking and feeling.
#4 – I solved more problems. Because you’re writing 3 pages of whatever you want, what I wrote about was often what was just sitting below the surface in my brain. Either I hadn’t let it rise to the top yet to deal with or I just had ignored it and pushed it down. Well, during the three pages of writing, it eventually came up and I dealt with it. I often had a next steps list of things after my morning pages and sometimes it was part of the action of resolving a problem I had journaled about.
#5 – I truly felt more creative. This is a little different than having new ideas. It was more like feeling inspired. I didn’t think I wasn’t as inspired before, but this was a whole new level of inspiration, especially when paired with an artist date, which I’ll talk about in another chapter.
#6 – It provided structure. I actually am not yet fully done with the Artist’s Way book. The way you go through it is to read a section week by week over 12 weeks so about 3 months time. I’m about 2/3 of the way done and will finish it before the end of the year. While it would have been ideal for me to do weekly, it didn’t happen but I’m still committed even if not perfect.
I’m sure there’s even more ways these pages will continue to shift me but one thing I know for sure it that three pages a day really will help you clear your mind and get back your artist. I truly look forward to these three blank pages a day, so much so that I sometimes write 4 or 5 of them.
If you’re looking for a way to tap into your artist, or just your own thoughts, or are just ready to think on another level, I cannot recommend this practice enough. While I think it would be helpful without the Artist’s Way book, it’s SO much better with it. So if you can, try to pair them together.